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Global Poll says
World Losing Faith in Globalized Economy
GlobeScan Chairman, Doug Miller

LONDON, Nov. 14, 2008 — Worldwide belief in the benefits of a globalized economy has declined markedly in the past two years, with majorities supporting protectionist measures as economic problems loom higher than ever in people's minds. These are findings from a global public opinion survey released today by GlobeScan.

Involving interviews across 23 countries between July and September 2008, the poll reflects views in the midst of the credit crunch but prior to September's economic meltdown.

For the first time in GlobeScan's 7 years of tracking worldwide, less than a majority see economic globalization as being in their family's interest. The key driver of this decline appears to be a majority view that globalization concentrates wealth rather than providing opportunity for all.

GlobeScan Chairman Doug Miller comments, "As world leaders seek collective solutions to the global economic crisis in Washington this weekend, our poll suggests they should concentrate on restoring a sense of fairness and accountability into the global economy." He adds, "World leaders would be ill-advised to expend their limited political capital on attempting to expand world trade at this time."

World opinion is ever less positive about economic globalization. Fewer than half of people believe that globalization has a positive effect on themselves and their families and this has decreased over the past few years. Across 11 countries, people are less certain in 2008 that "increased trade between countries in goods, services, and investments" has a positive effect on themselves and their families.

Less than a majority (45%) say the overall effects of globalization are positive, while 32 percent say it is negative. Majorities hold positive views in only 10 of the 23 countries, including Canada, Kenya, Nigeria, and the UK. Enthusiasm for globalization has declined most sharply in the Philippines, Poland, South Korea, Turkey, and the US.

Worldwide support for protectionist measures also remains strong. Majorities in all 23 countries surveyed favour measures to protect jobs and national industries (72% overall), and 63 percent overall favour restricting foreign ownership of national companies. Such protectionist sentiment is strongest in emerging economies, including Chile, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, and Russia – but it is divided in China.

Concern about the economy has much intensified in 2008. Economic problems are now the top national concern in 15 of 23 countries, compared with only 4 of 19 countries surveyed in 2007. Mentions of the economy increased significantly in 15 of 23 countries, across both developed and developing countries. Sharpest increases have been in the US (by 33 points), Chile, France, Spain, and the UK. Concern has declined for other national problems, such as the environment, crime, and terrorism.

"The growing disillusionment with globalization extends worldwide," said Dr. Simon Jimenez, Director of Global Issues Research at GlobeScan. "In both rich and poor countries, people believe globalization makes the rich richer and the poor poorer, rather than bringing economic opportunities to both rich and poor people."


1. GlobeScan Incorporated is a global public opinion and stakeholder research firm with offices in London, Toronto and Washington. Working through a research network spanning 50+ countries, GlobeScan conducts custom research and annual tracking studies for companies, governments, multilaterals, the media and NGOs.

2. Results are based telephone or face-to-face surveys taken between July and September 2008 of representative samples of 500 - 1,000 adults in each of 23 countries, for a total of 24,013 interviews.

3. Doug Miller is the Chairman and founder of GlobeScan, and a foremost pollster and commentator on global issues. Advising leaders in North America, Europe, and Asia, he has been active in strategic issues management for more than 25 years across industry, NGOs and government. See contact below to arrange an interview with Doug Miller.

4. Questions asked about globalization in 2008: (n=500 per country)

"As you may know, there are both positive and negative impacts from the increasing globalization occurring in the world. By globalization, I mean the increased trade between countries in goods, services and investment. Thinking of you and your family's interests, do you think the overall effect of globalization is very positive, somewhat positive, somewhat negative or very negative?" "Please tell me which of the following two statements is closer to your own opinion. Is it…?

(a) Globalization concentrates wealth and makes the rich richer and the poor poorer, or,

(b) Globalization brings economic opportunities to all people equally, both the rich and the poor."

5. Question asked about protectionist policies in 2008: (n=500 per country)

"For each of the following statements, please tell me if you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, or strongly disagree. (a) Our government should prevent foreign companies from buying [Country] companies. (b) It is important to protect [Country] industries and jobs by using tariffs and other barriers against competing products from other countries."

6. Question asked about top of mind concerns 2008: (n=1000 per country)

To help clients identify and successfully manage the unique issues facing their organizations and industry sector, we ask people across the world to "name the most important problem facing their country" (in their own words). Top of mind problems tend to reflect issues that are widely repeated in the mass media and are defined as urgent problems or even crises.

7. For full release, methodology, and research partners please visit the GlobeScan website at

Gwen Cottle, Research Associate
GlobeScan Incorporated
65 St. Clair Avenue East, Suite 900 Toronto Canada M4T 2Y3
Toronto | London | Washington
direct line: +1 416 969 3097
15 Years of Global Research






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